Questions tagged [word-problem]

A mathematical puzzle that's stated in words, usually in terms of a story or a situation that dresses the problem up.

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30
votes
7answers
9k views

Aside from brute force, how can I solve this puzzle?

Once upon a time, and old lady went to sell her vast quantity of eggs at the local market. When asked how many she had, she replied: Son, I can't count past 100 but I know that: If you ...
2
votes
3answers
192 views

How do I find the least number of times a shuttle can travel from one place to another?

I often see this situation in exams and I'd like to know if there is any kind of algorithm or shortcut that I can use to solve this puzzle instead of just guessing. The problem is as follows: A space ...
4
votes
9answers
1k views

1 rabbit, seeing 6 elephants, each seeing 2 monkeys, each having 1 parrot - how many went to the river? [closed]

A rabbit saw 6 elephants while going to the river. Every elephant saw 2 monkeys going to the river. Every monkey has 1 parrot each. How many of animals went to the river?
9
votes
4answers
2k views

Travellers across a desert

This is a problem I once found in a math textbook a tutor used with me. A group of explorers is trying to get from their base camp to another camp which is eight days' walk through the desert. ...
3
votes
2answers
178 views

On which date was Marina born?

The puzzle is as follows: In 2012, which began on a Sunday, Marina was happy because her birthday was on a Saturday and she celebrated it with her friends. We know, Marina was born in a year where ...
9
votes
1answer
829 views

Who attempted to betray the Boston King?

The Castle of Weshire recently declared war on the Castle of Boston. The two armies soon met, the Boston King and Weshire King giving out orders from behind their lines of soldiers, surround by their ...
6
votes
1answer
308 views

Two players alternately name dates

Two players alternately name dates. The winner is the player who names 31st December, and the starting date is 1st January. If a player names Xst of Y Month, the other player can name the first of the ...
4
votes
5answers
990 views

About Knights and Knaves and their consistency

On an Island of Knights and Knaves (where Knights always tell the truth and Knaves always lie), a Knight will never contradict himself unless some true fact changes. I was wondering: can a Knave ...
1
vote
2answers
370 views

Find the least number of objects from a jar when those have two colors

I've been going in circles with this question which belongs to certainty about something. The original source of this problem is unknown. I found it in a textbook who doesn't have an author but rather ...
9
votes
1answer
310 views

Ernie and the literary criticism

When I dropped in on Ernie over the weekend he commented that he hadn’t seen me for a while. I had to confess that my evenings had been very busy recently - first at the local Community College doing ...
10
votes
9answers
5k views

Two Clever and Thirsty Soda Packaging Workers

You and your friend Roger are in charge of a soda packaging line. The sodas arrive on a pallet that is shaped like a cube. The two of you must take sodas from the pallet and fill four-pack holders (...
27
votes
4answers
2k views

Ernie and the Pirates of the Caribbean

A few weeks ago, I dropped in to see Ernie to ask if he was willing to look after the cat while I was on holiday in the Caribbean. “No problem.” he replied then showed me an old leather-covered book, ...
1
vote
2answers
193 views

Find the competition rankings of three people based on their final scores

I found this puzzle in my Logic and Reason book from 2000's. The topic is ordering information. From the looks of it seems to be an adaptation from a reprinted version of Martin Gardner's 70's book of ...
23
votes
3answers
3k views

Winning an unfair game

I came across the following interesting problem today: A game consists of a sequence of plays; on each play either you or your opponent scores a point, you with probability 𝑝 < 1/2, he with ...
2
votes
1answer
130 views

Which step is creaky?

The problem is as follows: Ms. Flor has a 50-step wooden staircase that allows access from the first floor to the second floor. One of the steps creaks when a person stands on it. Diego and Mike are ...
2
votes
1answer
121 views

Number of bullets for each hunter [duplicate]

The problem is as follows: Two hunters make a stop in the forest to eat their breads. One of them has 5 breads and the other has 3 breads. Suddenly, another hunter appears, who has no bread at all. ...
0
votes
0answers
88 views

Problem Solving [duplicate]

Long time ago in Egypt, an old man died and left a herd of 41 camels to his three sons. According to his will, the oldest son should get 1/2 of the camels, the second son 1/3, and the youngest 1/7 of ...
7
votes
1answer
407 views

Ernie and the Chocolate Bomb

Last week when I visited Ernie he complained that his trousers had shrunk in the wash. I suggested an alternate possibility – he was putting on weight. So he decided to go on a diet and to support him,...
7
votes
1answer
621 views

Ernie and the Mastermind

Recently Ernie's twin niece and nephew Maria and Mario were spending a few days staying at his place. When I dropped in on a rainy Friday morning I found them a little dissatisfied with the ...
3
votes
3answers
131 views

finding a number using clues [closed]

The digit on hundreds place of a three-digit number is 2, the digit on tens place is 3 less than the digit on ones place. 6 times the product of the three digits is 20 less than this number. What is ...
21
votes
3answers
6k views

N pirates steal their share of bananas to the benefit of a monkey

The following is a type of logic / math puzzle I've yet to see on this site. I feel it belongs because the kernel of this problem can be reworked into other puzzles. $N$ pirates find themselves ...
6
votes
2answers
686 views

Is there a way in which all the members can be seated?

Here's a puzzle where it is very difficult to find a possible seating arrangement of all the members. I have been struggling to solve it. I have devoted so much of my time trying to figure out ...
-1
votes
1answer
108 views

Forming numbers from a given word [closed]

How many integers can you form using the letters of the word "interchangeability"? Note: You can ignore spaces when forming numbers.
-1
votes
1answer
105 views

Number whose letters are in alphabetical order [duplicate]

Can you find the smallest number whose letters are in alphabetical order when spelled out in English?
7
votes
3answers
475 views

Where am I? A scene of death

Hint (for those of you who are stuck): In this question, I have given a total of 5 hints (or even more). Once you have the answer, please include how these hints worked.
13
votes
1answer
832 views

Ernie and the Superconducting Boxes

I was in anticipation all last week. Ernie, who had been travelling for several months, was finally coming home. So over the weekend I dropped in on him. He was bursting with news. "Some wonderful ...
6
votes
2answers
317 views

The CompuTaria Quest - A young Wizard's journey

Once Upon A Time In A Land FAR, FAR Away... Our adventure begins in the enchanted land called "CompuTaria". You are, "Binaryian" a 3rd year Wizard In Training. Today began like any other day - you ...
1
vote
1answer
220 views

Mensa 3rd Grade Recess Game [closed]

Mensa 3rd Graders At Recess There are dozens of variations of this puzzle type, but I put my own spin and characteristics to it. It is lunch time for the little ones at Mensa Mini's Private School. ...
11
votes
2answers
528 views

Oh boi! Dis waas never Engliz! #2

This puzzle is second in the series, the first one being this. But these are related in no way. Below are some weird combinations of letters, which are actually words translated in some different ...
7
votes
1answer
492 views

Oh boi! Dis aint Engliz! #1

First some Engliz: These weird combination of letters are actually words translated in some different languages, and concatenated. Each line has one word translated in different languages. These ...
11
votes
1answer
438 views

The Key to the Door

I need to get into this building. Next to the only door is a keypad with a simple 10-key numeric keypad. I hear someone approaching so I hide in a nearby bush to observe. They walk up to the door, ...
9
votes
8answers
1k views

What mysterious whole number am I?

From my second point of view I copy that amount of first. I am the dominant side of two but for many I'm the worst. I'll be tricky to find but today might be your day, after all my neighbour is 2/3 of ...
7
votes
2answers
390 views

Fuzzy the Fuzzball

Fuzzy the fuzzball was very sad. He had lost his fuzz. Everyone knew if you lost your Fuzz you could no longer be a fuzzball. Fuzzy went to this friend Frizzy and shared his dilemma. "Don't worry, ...
5
votes
1answer
607 views

Rolling a dice - Expectation Question [closed]

I heard / read / acquired this puzzle from somewhere: Roll a die, win $2\times$ the value of the face if it is an even number, or win $1\times$ the value of the face if it is an odd number. How ...
115
votes
6answers
27k views

100 Prisoners' Names in Boxes

Names in Boxes The names of 100 prisoners are placed in 100 wooden boxes, one name to a box, and the boxes are lined up on a table in a room. One by one, the prisoners are led into the room; each may ...
1
vote
4answers
118 views

Air Miles Challenge

This isn't my own creation, it's an exercise that my partner had to do during a work exercise and seemed interesting to share here. You've been given 86,400 Air Miles to explore the world and there'...
6
votes
2answers
181 views

A Crucial Delivery

Planet Earth has been at war with the nefarious aliens of Planet XYZ for a while. The front lines are on Planet XYZ, and you, being Earth's lead scientists, need to find a way to get vital information ...
8
votes
2answers
258 views

Half and Double Value

A 3 year old child tried to input or copy a number (written on the paper) to a calculator but he messed up with the digit places. All the digits are there but the value of the number he inputed ...
0
votes
1answer
128 views

How many posts are needed to surround the perimeter? [closed]

Julie's garden with perimeter of 54 ft and width of 12 ft is to have posts put around it 3 feet away from the garden's edge on all sides. They are also to be three feet apart. how many posts will she ...
8
votes
4answers
508 views

The Knights and the Hounds

(With thanks and congratulations to Lee Leon) We rejoin our heroes several days after the events of The Knights' Gift, at the head of a pack of enormous staghounds, 1000 strong. Such a pack ...
20
votes
5answers
4k views

Guess the object - What Am I Riddle (Part 3)

I'm lying down, with a dah-ditty-dah, in the middle of the end, I'd hang upside-down similarly with my friend, Were I to flip over, with a dah-ditty-dah, it'd be the middle of the day, Right way up I ...
4
votes
2answers
1k views

Can you find my friends' birthday

A friend of mine has an interesting birthday. If you shorten the date month and year and use UK date format, it reads the year in full, his birthday falls on a Friday. When he is as old as the year ...
13
votes
1answer
615 views

Ernie and the Case of the Singing Sisters

On my way to work each morning I pass a news-agency that usually has a sandwich-board displaying the latest headlines of a somewhat disreputable tabloid newspaper (not that I would ever buy such a ...
0
votes
3answers
1k views

How does the hit-man assassinate his target using only two questions?

You are a hit-man undercover at a dinner party. You are in a conversation with three people. One of them is your target. You get to ask two questions before they get tired and leave. You know that one ...
8
votes
1answer
292 views

To Plunder Treasure Islands

Captain Etarip, wants to plunder all the treasure islands that he can. There is exactly one island for every $n\in\mathbb N$. The $n^{\text{th}}$ treasure island contains three cities, each with $n$ ...
3
votes
1answer
100 views

How can these people cross the bridge? [duplicate]

There are 4 people that must cross an old dilapidated bridge at night, All four walk at different speeds: There is a young teenager that can cross the bridge in 1 minute. There is teenager's older ...
6
votes
3answers
272 views

Try and find the words

Each line refers to one word - find them! 26. Who needs a best friend? 26. all powerful. 50. Doctors lose business. 63. Judging books now, are we? 73. I point and squeak! 94. Clay-making magic! ...
16
votes
1answer
1k views

Given these numbers, find the secret word

My son is 12 years old and his task was to find an English word from these numbers: 13; -8; 2; 2; -6; 12; 2; 6; -1; -12 where ...
7
votes
2answers
5k views

Guess the object - What Am I Riddle (Part 1)

In one form I can stretch to infinity, in another I have a clearly defined limit. In one form I am very flexible, in another I am exceedingly rigid. In one form intersections are catastrophic, in ...
20
votes
4answers
993 views

Ernie and the Uneconomical Flat-breads

When I arrived at Ernie's place last weekend I had some exciting news for him. "did you know", I announced "that a new Kzijekistanian fast-food shop has just opened in town?". "I did", Ernie replied, "...